Between the Anamalai Ranges of Tamilnadu and the Nelliampathy Ranges of Kerala on the Western Ghats is the The Indira Gandhi National Park. The forests, a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve consists of the park as well as a sanctuary formerly known as Anamalai Wildlife sanctuary with a combined area of 95,860 hectares. The national park covers an area of 108 sq kms. and the sanctuary is spread over an area of 958 sq km. The IGWS, also called 'Top Slip', is in Tamilnadu, Varies from the dry deciduous to the semi-evergreen, evergreen and the wet temperate containing teak, rose wood and many miscellaneous tropical species. The tourist zone - Top Slip - is the main birding area. There is a watch tower overlooking a reservoir around 1km from the edge of the Karian Shola on Top Slip. Many of the birds can be seen on the way as well as from the watch tower. This sanctuary is home to Lion-tailed macaque, Bonnet macaque, Common langur, Nilgiris langur, Malabar giant squirrel and Grizzled giant squirrel, besides tiger, Gaur, Pangolin, Sambhar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild boar, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Nilgiris Tahr, and Civet Cat. The Avifauna includes the Racquet Tailed Drongo, Black Headed Oriole, Paradise Fly-catcher, Whistling Thrush, Emerald Dove, Green Pigeon, Tickell's Flower Pecker, Rufus Wood Pecker, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Black Eagle, Great Indian, Malabar Pied Hornbill, and the Fairy Bluebird.
Parabikulam is in Kerala - originally a small tract of reserve forest with an area of about 48 sq. kms and with the growing wildlife need, it was expanded in 1962 and today covers an area of 258 sq. kms. Ideally suited to the growth of teak, the tract encouraged large scale teak plantations through artificial regeneration in the early 1920's. This was abandoned when a full fledged wildlife department was formed in 1985. Several streams originate from these hills and flows towards the Chalakudy river. The terrain is mostly undulating with a valley in the basin. The Karimala Gopuram is the highest peak in this region and standing at 1444m. Parambikulam with nearly 200 species of birds has gained acceptance a a fine birding destination. The abundant wildlife here also makes a journey here doubly rewarding.
The extensive forests of Anaimalai - Indira Gandhi national park - and the adjacent Parambikulam Sanctuary are known for its great swathes of forests. Natural vegetation of this sanctuary is a combination of Malabar and Deccan elements, and coupled with widely varying topographic and biotic factors have endowed this sanctuary with rich floral diversity. There are West coast tropical evergreen forests, West coast tropical semi-evergreen forests, Southern moist mixed deciduous forest, Southern dry mixed deciduous forests and Southern montane wet temperate forests called Sholas which make this ideal birding country. On the mixed and evergreen forest close to Top Slip itself and some of the endemic and near-endemic species we shall be hoping to see are Malabar Grey Hornbill, Crimson-throated Barbet, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Malabar Woodshrike, Wynaad Laughingthrush, Black-throated Munia, Dark-fronted Babbler, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and the White-bellied Treepie. Other species include Great Hornbill, White-bellied and Heart-spotted Woodpeckers, Lesser Yellownape, Greater Flameback, Red Spurfowl, Indian Pitta, Puff-throated Babbler or Orange-headed Thrush. Among the owls are Oriental Scops Owls and the Indian Scops Owl.
Total No. of Birds recorded - 268
No. of species listed as rare - 134
Birds endemic to Western Ghats in Top Slip/ Parambikulam 12 (out of total 16 endemics)